Newspaper Article

March 18, 2023

"Pay Attention to God's Wake-up Call"

One morning recently I was awakened around 4:30 a.m. with the phone ringing. When that occurs, your mind immediately assumes that there is some kind of emergency, such as a health crisis for a member of the family or that something set off the alarm at our church building. As I anxiously answered the call, I heard a recorded announcement from our county that our area was under a freeze warning. You can imagine my reaction. I jumped out of bed, cried out for my wife to follow me, and we ran into our basement where we wrapped up in several blankets in order to protect ourselves from the dangerous cold. Of course not. Neither did I immediately rush outside to cover up any vulnerable blooming plants. Instead I hung up the phone in disgust and tried to get back to sleep. I assumed this warning call was the result of a mistake, because it certainly wasnít what I considered an emergency deserving of waking people up in the middle of the night.

However, there are situations in which we need to be awakened. I believe the Lord would like to stir up a number of people today with a warning call. It might be similar to the one recorded in the book of Romans: ďAnd do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry or drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lustsĒ (Romans 13:11-14).

This warning reminds us that time is short. Not only is death drawing nearer for each of us, but the return of the Lord is getting closer all the time. We donít know when these events will take place, but we know that our time here is limited. As it says, ďthe day is at hand.Ē Therefore we need to wake up and get busy. We need to get serious about turning away from anything in our lives that is hindering our relationship with the Lord. We need to give ourselves fully to Jesus, allowing Him to live in us and work through us. We need to pursue a life of holiness and service in completing the work Jesus has given us to do.

One of the problems is that many of us are sleeping Ė not just the unbelieving world but those who profess to be followers of Christ. We have grown complacent and comfortable in an ungodly atmosphere. We have allowed our senses to become dull to the awfulness of sin. We have substituted other things for a vital, growing relationship with Christ. We have become lazy in fulfilling our mission as proclaimers of the gospel, seekers of the lost, and witnesses for the Lord. We need to wake up!

Letís consider this our wake-up call. We can either ignore it, make excuses for ourselves, and downplay the urgency of the matter, or we can let the Lord stir us up to action. Now is the time to get busy in becoming the kind of follower Jesus calls us to be. Now is the time to surrender completely to His will for our lives. Now is the time to serve Him and reach out in love to those around us. Donít turn over and go back to sleep. Itís time to wake up and get going.